Chaplain Timothy L. Auman to speak at WFU fall convocation Oct. 9

Rev. Timothy L. AumanThe Fall Convocation at Wake Forest University, scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 9, will be a celebration of the theme for the 2003-2004 academic year, “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community.”

Timothy L. Auman, who was appointed chaplain at Wake Forest in July, will deliver the keynote address, and the Wake Forest Gospel Choir is scheduled to perform during the free, public event. Maeve Goff, Wake Forest Student Government president, will speak during the event about the theme and efforts to foster dialogue at Wake Forest.

The Ethics and Honor Council and the Board of Investigators and Advisors, both student boards, will be recognized during the convocation.

Auman’s speech is titled “The Conversion of Language” and it is related to the theme year. The “Fostering Dialogue” theme year is dedicated to the exploration of how free people with passionate interests and beliefs can communicate openly without turning dialogue into discord.

The speech, Auman said, addresses the three main types of language that people use during their lives. Those types include the language of intimacy and relationship, the language of information or education, and the language of motivation or advertising and politics. He said he will discuss the need for individuals to return to the language of intimacy and relationship in order to have positive dialogue.

In 1998, Auman joined Wake Forest’s Campus Ministry staff as the United Methodist campus minister and was named the 2001 national campus minister of the year by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Formerly a minister at United Methodist churches in High Point and Charlotte, Auman succeeded the Rev. Ed Christman, who retired this summer after 34 years as Wake Forest chaplain.

A native of La Mesa, Calif., Auman received a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Wofford College in 1980 and a master of divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School in 1983. He grew up in North Carolina, primarily in High Point, where his father, Dr. Edwin Auman, practiced medicine before retirement. His father is a graduate of the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

From 1983 to 1987, Auman was associate pastor at Dilworth United Methodist Church in Charlotte. He served as a United Methodist campus minister at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 1987 to 1993. Auman was senior minister at Oakview United Methodist Church in High Point from 1993 to 1998.

At the convocation, Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. will honor two alumni with the Marcellus E. Waddill Excellence in Teaching Awards. The $20,000 awards are given annually to one primary school teacher and one secondary school teacher who graduated from Wake Forest.

The university will also present the Jon Reinhardt Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Donald O. Schoonmaker Faculty Award for Community Service to two faculty members.

The yearlong “Fostering Dialogue” celebration includes several events intended to raise provocative questions about how dialogue is practiced at Wake Forest and within the larger society. Other events scheduled during the year include a special seminar through the university’s communication department focused on dialogue and production of documentaries, a student dialogue program with senior university administrators, a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, a Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner Day and two film series.

Additional information about the theme year’s events are posted on the “Fostering Dialogue” Web site at The 2003-2004 theme year is the eighth theme year recognized at Wake Forest. Previously, the university celebrated the Year of Health and Medicine (2002-2003), the Year of Unity and Hope: Pro Humanitate at Work (2001-2002) and the Year of Ethics and Honor (2000-2001).’

“Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community” is the first of two theme years to be funded through a $1.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis. The grant, awarded to Wake Forest in 2001, is also being used to support a center for vocational exploration for undergraduate students for five years at Wake Forest. The Pro Humanitate Center opened in 2002 and offers programs designed to encourage students to explore the nature of vocation as they consider possible careers, including the ministry.

Categories: Events, Faculty, Speakers